It’s human nature to want to feel important to someone, to not feel taken advantage of, to feel that you’re more than a mere transaction. When you humanize your business, you demonstrate that you are more than just a website or a phone number. Your business is run by humans for humans, and you care about helping real people, but does your customer know that?
To humanize your business, you can start with your workplace, making sure that you’re supportive towards all staff. You can go deeper by making your core values clear and conducting business in a way that shows they are meaningful. Building trust among your customers is a sure-fire way to get and keep their business.
In our digital age, authenticity, story, and community can be some of the biggest draws for clients. As such, the benefits of making your business more human will be obvious in the amount of business you do. Here are five ways to do just that.
Improve your workplace by looking after the details
Humanizing your brand is good for business. But it won’t mean a thing if your workplace is an unpleasant place to work. Your offices, warehouses, and communications all need to be employee-friendly.
In meetings, you might need to check that people are happy and comfortable—with enough water, food, and rest breaks to take them through the day.
Performance management should be conducted with encouragement and warmth. And when you send your team to deal with customers, focus on getting them to sell the ‘right’ thing instead of the ‘most expensive’ thing.
Humanizing your workplace might require some more material changes: longer vacations, higher salaries, and more flexible working. But you can start with appreciating your staff and recognising their contributions.
Know your values (and stick to them)
These days, ‘values’ and ‘mission’ can sound like more management buzzwords. But expressing your values helps you show that you aren’t just looking for a quick buck—you want to make a real difference.
In fact, everyone has a set of values that show their deepest ambitions. Those values help you decide the products and services you offer, choose your targets and goals, and weigh who you hire.
Telling people about your core values helps to build consistent messaging, through whatever changes you encounter. For customers, the values of a company helps them understand the service they can expect in the future.
Market to your audience, not yourself
A business for humans should be designed to serve others—not yourself. So you must constantly show that you understand your audience’s pain points, and that your values are part of the solution.
Exactly how you achieve this will depend heavily on the nature of your business. If you’re a lifestyle brand, support from influencers could put a highly personal human face on your online presence.
But you’ll need a different approach for your latest B2B SaaS product. In that case, expert blog posts, clear copywriting, and an intuitive buyer journey could do more to show that you care about your clients.
Find ways to be transparent
If you understand your audience, have a core set of values, and operate a genuinely supportive workplace – you’ve got a lot to be proud of.
Being transparent about your work can then be a core part of your marketing strategy.
You may want to show off birthday celebrations on TikTok. Write a thoughtful blog post about your use of a certain product. Or create a LinkedIn post to explain the thinking behind an innovative staffing possibility.
Just beware—transparency will only be successful if your business is operating in a positive human way already. If staff hate coming to work every day, putting on a show on Instagram will do more harm than good.
Build a genuine online community
When customers buy from you, they want to know you’ll support them after their purchase, even if you’ve worked hard to create a trouble-free experience. Even great products and services need further explanations and trouble-shooting.
Build a community around your product and its users, and you’ll find a very human way of helping your customers.
At its simplest, you might foster community through genuine engagement on social media—with highly-trained staff providing short and personalized support for customer queries. Take this a step further by sharing and liking relevant content from your audience.
If your services require more technical discussions, perhaps a dedicated online forum would be a great solution.
Customers are far more likely to return to your business if they are properly supported by other human beings.
This post has introduced five ways you can humanize your business: improving the workplace; expressing your values; considering your audience; showing transparency; and building community.
Any one of these ideas can help you create an atmosphere that staff and customers alike are keen to be part of, but the best method is to use them all together. If you’re trying to cover up a negative workplace, weak values, or indifference towards customers, it will be painfully obvious.
In business terms, the reasoning is simple: for most industries, a more ‘human’ business will attract more clients, retain staff longer, and grow consistently.